We’re not afraid to lead the way.

VCU has a tradition of being first — a necessary practice when one is trying to provide the very best education in rapidly evolving times. We put one foot in front of the other, just like everybody else.We just happen to be one step ahead.

Photo of first school of social work in the South

First school of social work in the South

The VCU School of Social Work was founded by a small group of Richmond citizens interested in improving the social conditions of Virginia’s urban and rural poor. Their efforts led to a training school for social workers, the first of its kind in the South.

Today, the school is ranked 11th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

VCU Health physicians

First organ transplants in Virginia

Over the past 70 years, VCU Health physicians performed the commonwealth’s first liver, kidney and heart transplants, as well as the East Coast’s first artificial heart transplant.

Today, our transplant survival rates consistently meet or surpass the national average.

Students at VCUQatar

First American campus in Qatar

VCU became the first university from the U.S. to operate a campus in Qatar, which now boasts programs from five other American universities, including Georgetown and Northwestern.

In 2012, VCU opened VCUQatar House near the Richmond, Va., campus to continue to enhance our cross-cultural collaboration.

L. Rice Education Building

First LEED Platinum building in Virginia

VCU built the first Platinum-level LEED structure in Virginia, located at the Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences, a research field station in Charles City County.

Over the past five years, all new construction at VCU has met LEED Silver standards, at a minimum.

VCU researchers

Only university in Virginia to receive $20 million NIH grant to support translational research

In 2010, VCU became the first and only university in Virginia to receive the $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health to fund the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

Our CCTR researchers serve as national leaders on research into women’s health, substance abuse and rehabilitation sciences.

Only men’s basketball team to go from First Four to Final Four

Our 2011 men’s basketball team was the first and only team to make it from the First Four to the Final Four — an NCAA Tournament run heralded as one of the greatest Cinderella stories of all time.

During Coach Shaka Smart’s first four years at VCU, the team garnered 111 wins, the second highest for any NCAA Division I head coach in his or her first four seasons.

2011 VCU men's basketball team

First-of-their-kind academic programs